Imperial Oil has a new CEO, with Brad Corson officially taking over the role from Rich Kruger effective Jan. 1, 2020.
Corson has worked for Imperial owner Exxon Mobil for 36 years, for the most recent five overseeing the company’s global upstream acquisition and divestment programs, including purchases in the Permian Basin, Papua New Guinea, Mozambique and Brazil.
He was appointed Imperial president in mid-September, announced along with the retirement of Rich Kruger, who took over as Imperial CEO in 2013.
Kruger is also a 30-plus year Exxon vet, prior to his position with Imperial serving as president of ExxonMobil Production Company and a vice-president of ExxonMobil Corporation. He took over from Bruce March, another long-term Exxon executive.
Corson said he views the current challenges in Canada’s oil and gas industry as opportunities.
“Our company, Imperial, has a history almost 140 years long, and through that history we’ve been the leaders in developing the energy industry here in Canada,” Corson told reporters in early December.
“We’ve been responsible for many firsts; we have a strong legacy of innovation of great people, great assets, and when I step back after the last two months I’ve spent with Rich and the organization learning about that, it does nothing but motivate and inspire me about the future opportunities.”
Kruger said that a point of pride of his tenure leading Imperial is that the company has not had to resort to job cuts in the downturn environment.
“Our belief is that there are a lot of things that we can focus on internally; we can’t control everything externally, but if we’re at the top of our game, we make good, wise decisions [and] we manage our costs and expenses, we can go through whatever cycles are thrown at us,” he said.
“We take a very long-term view of the business. We don’t get too excited when times are good, and we try not to slam on the brakes too hard when times are bad. If you do that, we think you can manage through the inevitable business cycles.”
Kruger said that with its massive resources and responsible development practices, it is “unquestionable” that Canada has potential to grow its position meeting future global oil and gas demand.
“The potential is there for Canada to not only be at its current role in oil and gas markets but to have a bigger and expanded role in the years ahead… the question is will it happen? I think it will happen when we get an alignment across the country politically and socially that what this industry does and how they do it is something that Canadians nationwide can and should be proud of. If we get that, then I think we will move toward that full potential. If we don’t get that, we won’t move toward that full potential.”